LIVE FUTURES REPORT 30/12: SHFE nickel price climbs 1.6%, tin drops 1.2% in mixed morning session

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mixed at the close of the morning trading session on Monday December 30, but movements were largely limited amid the year-end slowdown.

The exceptions to this rangebound trading were nickel and tin.

The most-traded March nickel contract rose to 111,690 yuan ($15,963) per tonne at the close of the morning trading session on Monday, up by 1,700 yuan per tonne – or 1.6% – from Friday’s close of 109,990 yuan per tonne.

This reverses similar losses suffered by nickel at the end of the morning session on Friday, when the March contract fell by 1.6% to 110,630 yuan per tonne.

The alloying metal continues to benefit from expectations of greater demand from the new energy vehicle (NEV) market, especially following reports that Chinese government is looking to accelerate the adoption of these types of vehicles across the country.

“A recent report drafted by China’s Ministry of Industry & Information Technology indicates the country will step up its efforts to be a leader in autonomous driving and is aiming for a quarter of all cars sold in the country to be new energy vehicles by 2025,” Fastmarkets analyst Andy Farida said.

Meanwhile, Russian producer Nornickel has forecast primary nickel use in batteries, especially in EVs, to reach 200,000 tonnes in 2020.

“Nornickel believes more EV production sites, higher driving range requirements and the desire to decrease exposure to cobalt are all elements boosting demand for nickel,” Farida added.

On the other hand, tin gave the worst performance of the SHFE base metals this morning after its most-traded May contract fell by 1,650 yuan per tonne – or 1.2% – to 136,190 yuan per tonne at the close of morning trading.

As for the rest of the complex, the February copper contract dropped by 0.4% to 49,530 yuan per tonne, the February aluminium contract inched up by 5 yuan per tonne – or 0.04% – to 14,080 yuan per tonne, the February zinc contract rose by 0.7% to 18,080 yuan per tonne and the February lead contract edged down by 0.1% to 15,220 yuan per tonne.

Other highlights

  • The US currency continues to decline, although this failed to provide much support to the SHFE base metals prices this morning.
  • The dollar index, which gauges the strength of the US dollar against a basket of foreign currencies, was down by 0.21% at 96.8 as at 11.30am Shanghai time. This compares with a reading of 97.44 at a similar time on Friday.
  • There are limited data releases scheduled for Monday with the United States’ goods trade balance results, preliminary wholesale inventories, Chicago purchasing managers’ index and pending home sales due.